Blade of the Ruined King is getting nerfed.

Posted on at 6:46 PM by Moobeat
Blade of the Ruined King got a massive buff in patch 3.03 and since then it's been wreaking havoc across the fields of justice. Xypherous and FeralPony have stepped in to talk a bit about the item, including confirmation that it is soon to be nerfed.
Continue reading for the full discussion, including why the item is so powerful, what it's problems are, and what is being planned to fix it.

For reference sake, here is the current iteration of Blade of the Ruined King, intended to be an effective counter for high HP, low resistances targets.

Xypherous discussing Blade of the Ruined King:
"So let me talk about Blade of the Ruined King a little - and what kind of led to the state of the item as it is on live. 
Let's get this out of the way first - I screwed up here, if only by judging from the reactions and the state of the competitive solo queue. People feel that their AD carry builds are being unduly constrained and they feel the need to buy the item to counter itself. That, in itself, the AD carry versus AD carry case - is a problem. 
So, let's get into the crunchy design portions of the thing and talk about it 
1. The item is DPS efficient on squishy characters 
Kind of
Fundamentally, any item built off of current health will always look overpowered when it works. This is because the optimal case for current health damage never actually happens in game. 
For example, let's say that BoRK breaks even with BT at 1700 health for the target. What this actually means is that BoRK breaks even with BT at 1700 health for the target assuming there is no other damage sources affected the target at all.  
Given that almost every character has base damage on their skills and the like - the balance of numbers shifts terribly - For example, if your mage deals 600 AoE damage to the enemy team - BoRK needs to be extra-efficient to still be a valid HP counter at this point.
This is also why the active is as strong as it is - The use of the active nerfs the passive damage of the item. 
2. Current % Health Paradigms are flawed - because the AD carry will follow after the burst casters 
This is somewhat true to a certain extent - but the goal of a counter-item is to counter niche cases not strengthen already existing cases. The current BoRK for example, excels at self-peel and is especially good in 1v1 case against bruisers (regardless of what class you are.) 
And the current health paradigm allows the item to essentially self-nerf itself when other elements of the game are strong (burst casters). 

3. It is a mush-rush first item for a carry? 
Kind of
Again, this boils down to - How much damage is your support adding to your combo? In a Leona lane, for example, you'd be hard pressed to argue that their HP pool is actually 1200 - or how effective your autoattacks are. 
4. The active adds more burst than the previous incarnation. 
Potentially but it's generally weaker than the previous active - and that's why it rolled out - it was viewed as net neutral in most contexts. 
150 + 0.5 TAD on an item with 45 AD roughly breaks even with the previous active at 1466 health - which is an HP threshold that only tanks/bruisers break early.  
But the item is clearly overpowered on live and ruining the game experience! 
Most likely. However, I'm more concerned with whether the item feels counterable at this stage. Rest assured though, we're not going to wait on the next patch to fix it. We knew going out that the item could have come out pretty crazy - and watching it over the weekend - it has been pretty crazy at is. 
So we'll be hotfixing this as soon as we're comfortable with the server situation (Along with some other bugs.)"
When asked what might be changed in this hot fix / patch, he responded:
"The heal is pre-mitigation - which is something we're going to fix for the following patch/hotfix. I still believe in pre-mitigation healing on the item - but definitely not at 100% efficiency. 
The reason why it is pre-mitigation is that if the item healed based on pre-mitigation, armor values double counter the item, by both reducing the damage and reducing the amount healed - making it pretty pointless for damage or healing on high-armored targets - and making it ideal to burst squishies with.

(I think it overnerfs the item for it to be pre-mitigation - I think the ideal fix is to heal for 50% or 66% of the pre-mitigation damage - but that's something we can do later.)"
He later elaborated:
"At the moment, the changes look like bumping the cost to be equivalent with BT (around a 350 gold cost increase), reducing the damage by 5 and changing the active heal to be post-mitigation.

While this is probably a little much in terms of overnerfing - now that everyone is aware of the power of the item tangentially, it makes it a lot easier to slow-creep it back to a good state without overshooting (which slow-creeping often does.)"

When asked why this item was pushed to live without taking into account all the PBE feedback of "boy it's going to be broke", Xypherous responded:
"There were pretty significant iterations in response to PBE feedback. 
1. The active changed to reduce the damage generally.
2. The premitigation life-steal was stripped from the item.
3. We increased the cost of the item from 2650 to 2850. 
Obviously those weren't enough changes - but we were continuously nerfing the feedback.

One of the tricky things about PBE feedback is that, due to the smaller player pool - generally skill discrepencies between matches are far greater - which makes collating feedback difficult."
He also shared the original intent of the item:
"The original purpose of this item was a specific anti-health item. We didn't really care which class used it (Carries or Bruisers) - we just wanted heavy health stacking targets to have a weakness.

Specifically, the item is supposed to be bad against squishies and good against tough targets - which it clearly isn't right now because of vastly over-estimating the context factors as I explained in the original post."

FeralPony also chimed in, revealing more of Riot's potential plans for BotRK:
"I’m hopping in this thread because there is a lot of positive discussion is going on and I wanted to give you guys a heads up as to what is happening with the item. We will be hotfixing this item and I want to give some heads up as to our changes and why. 
The item is too cost effective. 
We’ll be increasing the cost a bit and we’re shaving a few points off of the AD when you upgrade the item. BotRK is geared towards attack speed and making these changes helps bring it in line and keeps its intended purpose while keeping the unique elements of the item intact and powerful. 
As yashinihao mentions earlier this thread a lot of high tier items are cost effective. This inherently isn’t a bad thing but in this case in particular due to the power of the unique effects we really want to keep the power of the item into its unique elements and not be just about the stat efficiency so we’re lowering the cost effectiveness overall a bit. It is currently too effective compared to comparable choices. 
The active heal will apply post-mitigation instead of pre-mitigation. 
Currently Armor is the proper counter to this item and although many players have not made the transition to purchasing armor items we feel the active heal is too strong atm. This may not be the most elegant change to the problem as it does make the heal more effective against low armored targets instead of tanks and fighters due to their substantially higher armor values. We will however, continue to assess and test different approaches but we did not want to ignore this issue in the short term.

We're reducing the damage cap of the item versus minions.

This item’s identity is that of a counter to high health enemies, currently it is providing far too much power in securing global objectives (baron, dragon, spider boss) and almost trivializing these objectives. By reducing this element of the item we can focus on its core power as an item meant to counter high health enemies."

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